In the center of most towns there is a gathering place for people to meet, socialize and play.
In Santiago de Cuba it’s a small piazza across the street from a local cafeteria and protected from the sun by a shady poinciana tree. The plaza is set with an assortment of table and chairs and the men (I’ve only ever seen men) play chess, checkers and dominoes.
Mostly these are games of concentration with the players focused on their hand and intent on their opponent’s next move. Depending on the game and maybe the skill of the players, spectators stand behind them, faces inscrutable as they quietly champion their favorite.
Game over comes with a palpable break in tension. A round of banter and conviviality accompanies the scrape and clatter of pieces being reset on the table.
Sometimes, there is drama.
But then it’s over and the games move on.
Today’s photos brought to you by Friendly Friday’s Photo Challenge: Dramatic.
Photos taken in Santiago de Cuba, 2018
Lovely photo story – a story with some daily drama 😊 I’ve seen men play these games during my travels (and, like you said, never women) but now that I think of it, I don’t think we have gathering places like this in Finland. People don’t spend a lot of time outdoors, unless it’s to do sports or perhaps gardening in the summer if you’re lucky enough to have a garden. Finns are more of an indoors nation and the equivalent of chess playing would probably be men sitting in bars getting drunk!
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Here in Canada, or at least in the part of Toronto where I live, the gathering place for suburban seniors is indoor shopping malls. The malls open early before the stores do, so that people can do walking circuits aound the mall. They get daily exercise even when it’s horrible weather outside. Afterwards the folks congregate in the food courts in their respective groups. I once went to find my Dad, who told me that his group was always in the back left corner of the food court. On the way over, I passed a group of Italian seniors, another group of Greek seniors and another group from Trinidad. Everyone had their own table! I suppose their walking clubs are equivalent to board games 🙂 And just like the Finns, I’m sure that somewhere elese, there are also groups men sitting in bars getting drunk !
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Ah, interesting! I feel like old men over here avoid shopping malls. Your walking seniors sound healthier! (And we don’t really have food courts either! 😏)